Sheffield Tigers speedway boss plans team-rebuild

Tigers want an improved injury-free team next year. Pic: Andy Garner
Tigers want an improved injury-free team next year. Pic: Andy Garner
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Sheffield promoter Damien Bates has got one eye on 2017 and insists “It’s going to be our year!”

Tigers were beaten in the Premier League Grand Final by Somerset after their brave fight came to an end. They were again been plagued with injuries all year long - mainly to heat-leaders Jason Garrity and Simon Stead.

While the Tigers scraped through to the end-of-season play-offs, they defied all the odds to eliminate in-form teams in Newcastle and Glasgow. Bates says he couldn’t have asked for much more from his side and has revealed plans for next season are well underway.

Bates said: “It’s been a brave fight, but this year wasn’t meant to be. Ever since we took over Sheffield we’ve been cursed with multiple injuries.

“We went into a Grand Final without our No. 1 and 5 in Jason and Simon and let’s not forget Dimitri Berge, who’s had a fantastic year.

“I strongly believe that if we’d have had those three then we could have pushed Somerset all the way.

“But as things were, I don’t think we could have too many complaints and the best team in the league were crowned Champions in the end. We’ve done exceptionally well when you consider everything and just to reach the play-offs was a decent achievement itself. I’m already thinking towards next season now and I’ve got a few ideas in mind. I know riders I’d love to use, I know riders who definitely won’t be involved so I’ve got a rough idea of how I want the team to be built.”

Bates added: “We’ve just got to wait for the AGM now for the rules to be set and then we can get cracking!”